I purchased a mask in Venice and assumed it must have been made in Venice, but how can you tell?
Many people travel to Venice without knowing how the traditional Venetian Mask is made.
I was introduced to Venetian Mask when we visited The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The mask was hard as clay and was painted beautifully. I thought those replicas must resemble the authentic Venetian Mask.
The second time I saw a Venetian Mask was during my first trip to Venice. They were widely sold in the piazzas in Venice and they looked very similar to the one I saw in Las Vegas. I thought those must be genuine Venetian Masks.
It wasn’t until our friend, Marco Secchi, introduced us to a traditional Venetian Mask shop then I realized the genuine Venetian masks were made from papier-mache. Fortunately, we were there at the right time because there was a group of school kids having a field trip to the shop. The owner of the shop demonstrated very carefully the steps of making a true Venetian Mask.
From what we learned, there are only three genuine Venetian Mask craftsmen left in Venice who make Venetian Masks from scratch.
The traditional Venetian Mask is handmade and not mass produced or imported, like the masks I had seen in the piazzas or in Las Vegas.
To understand step-by-step how a traditional Venetian mask is made, please click here.